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Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




                                       GSM RF INTERVIEW FAQs


1)          GSM PLMN Services

                         Bearer Services
                         Thse services give the subscriber the capacity required to transmit appropriate signals b/w
                         certain access points(i.e., user-network interfaces).

                         Teleservices
                         These services provide the subscriber with necessary capabilities including terminal equipment
                         functions to communicate with other subscribers.

                         Supplementary Services
                         These services modify or supplement basic telecommunications services. These services are
                         offered together or in association with basic telecommunications services.


2)          GSM 900
            Uplink :890 – 915 MHz
            Downlink : 935 - 960 MHz


3)          DCS 1800
            Uplink : 1710 - 1785 MHz
            Downlink :1805 – 1885 MHz


4)          Bands                       Carrier frequencies
            GSM 900                     (915-890) MHz / 200 kHz = 125, (1 – 124) ARFCNs
            DCS 1800                    (1785-1710) MHz / 200 kHz = 375,    (1 – 374) ARFCNs
            each band having a carrier separation of 200 kHz.


5)          Ciphering The purpose of ciphering id to encode the transmitted burst so that it cannot be hacked or
            tapped by any other device before reaching the receiver. The algorithm used for ciphering is the A5
            algorithm


6)          Authentication normally takes place when the MS is turned on with each incoming call and outgoing
            call. A verification that the »Ki« (security code) stored in the AuC matches the »Ki« stored in SIM card of
            the MS completes this process.


7)          Equalization is used to extract the desired signal from the unwanted reflections. It works by finding out
            how a known transmitted signal is modified by multipath fading, and constructing an inverse filter to
            extract the rest of the desired signal. This known signal is the 26-bit training sequence transmitted in the
            middle of every time-slot burst. The actual implementation of the equalizer is not specified in the GSM
            specifications.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




8)       Interleaving The process of spreading a block of data over a wider time frame by placing data bits from
         other data blocks in between the original data bits in the block. Interleaving is frequently done in digital
         system to spread the data so that bits from the same block are not contiguous and bit errors are
         randomized to the point FEC is more effective. Systems using this technique are more likely to withstand
         Rayleigh and other bursty fading and interference phenomenon.



9)       Digitization The digitization of analogue waveforms by pulse code modulation is accomplished in
         two stages. First the waveform is sampled to produce pulse amplitude modulation (PAM). Short-
         duration samples are taken at regular intervals which are long compared with the sampling time but
         short in relation to the highest signal frequency. The result is a train of pulses whose amplitude
         envelope is the same as the analogue waveform.



10)      Speech Coding: An electronic process of sampling and digitizing a voice signal.


11)      Channel Coding: The application of forward error correction codes to an RF channel to improve
         performance and throughput.


12)      Frequency Reuse: A technique of reusing frequencies and channels within communications system to
         improve capacity and spectral efficiency. Frequency reuse generally utilizes regular reuse patterns.


13)      Cell Splitting: The process of splitting a cell into several smaller cells. This is usually done to make more
         voice channels available to accommodate traffic growth in the area covered by the original cell.



14)      Interfaces:




15)      The protocol used on the Abis interface is Link Access Protocol for the D-channel (LAP-D), which is
         adapted from ISDN. LAPD provides the following frame types that can be divided into three groups:
                   the unnumbered frames (SABM, DISC, UA, DM, UI),
                   the information transfer frame (I)
                   the supervisory frames (RR, RNR, REJ, FRMR).



16)      WPS
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



17)      MA


18)      MAIO Mobile Allocation Index Offset: It is the offset index to the Absolute Radio Frequency Channel
         Numbers (ARFCNs) with the allocated frequenices.



19)      Base Band Frequency Hopping (BBH)
         In baseband hopping, each transmitter is assigned with a fixed frequency. At transmission, all bursts,
         irrespective of which connection, are routed to the appropriate transmitter of the proper frequency.
         The advantage with this mode is that narrow-band tuneable filter combiners can be used. This makes it
         possible to use many transceivers with one combiner.

         Synthesiser Frequency Hopping (SFH)
         Synthesizer hopping means that one transmitter handles all bursts that belong to a specific connection.
         The bursts are sent “straight on forward” and not routed by the bus. In contrast to baseband hopping,
         the transmitter tunes to the correct frequency at the transmission of each burst.




20)      Cycling Frequency Hopping

         In cyclic hopping, the frequencies are changed, in every TDMA frame, in a consecutive order. For
         instance, the sequence of frequencies for cyclic hopping between four frequencies may appear as follows:
         ________________________________
         ... , f4, f1, f2, f3, f4, f1, f2, f3, f4, f1, f2, ...
         ________________________________

         A cyclic sequence is specified by setting parameter HSN (hopping sequence number) to 0. There is only
         one cyclic sequence defined in the GSM specifications. The sequence of frequencies goes from the lowest
         absolute frequency number in the set of frequencies specified for that channel group, to the highest, and
         over again.



21)      Hopping Sequence Number (HSN) In order to spread the interference between all cells using the
         same hopping TCHs, e.g. in an FLP 1/1 plan, Hopping Sequence Number (HSN) planning is used. HSN
         is planned in order to avoid correlation between closely located cells.



22)      Discontinuous Transmission: A feature in mobile systems where transmitters mute when there is no
         information to send, such as during periods of silence. This feature prolongs battery life in portable
         phones and reduces interference in wireless systems.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



23)     Discontinuous Reception A feature in mobile systems where receiver mute when there is no
        information to send, such as during periods of silence. This feature prolongs battery life in portable
        phones and reduces interference in wireless systems.



24)     GSM Data Rate = 270.9 kbits/s using GMSK as the modulation technique.


25)     Erlang A measure of radio usage. One Erlang is equivalent to one telephone line being permanently
        used.
        Grade of Service (GoS): A measure of the success a subscriber is expected to have in accessing a
        network to complete a call. The grade of service is usually expressed as percentage of calls attempted by
        the subscriber during the busy-hour that are blocked due to insufficient network resources.



26)     GSM 900 is better in terms of coverage and quality.
        According to RF basics, if two signals having different frequencies are transmitted with same power, the
        signal with low frequency will travel much far than the signal with high frequency. Propagation losses will
        be less for low frequency as compared to a high frequency. Hence if a GSM 900 frequency and a DCS
        1800 frequency are transmitted with same power then DCS 1800 frequency will cover only half of the
        area covered by GSM 900 frequency.



27)     Timing Advance (TA) The timing advance ensures the bursts arrive at their destination in the
        appropriate time slot. The mobile transmits a random access burst in the uplink, and the BTS will make
        measurements, sending an adjustment on the downlink. Timing advance is measured in bits and can be
        adjusted up to 63 bits, with each bit lasting 3.69 ms.



28)     Location Area To keep paging performance within a safe range, it is necessary to form clusters and
        page only the cluster of cells for which the MS is known to be situated. These cell clusters are called
        Location Area.



29)     Location Update (LU): This procedure allows the network to keep track of the mobile station to direct
        the incoming call.



30)     International Mobile Station Identity (IMSI): A unique 15 digit number assigned to a mobile station
        at the time of service subscription. It contains a mobile country code, a mobile network code, mobile
        subscriber identification number, and a national mobile subscriber identity.
        Temporary mobile subscriber identity (TMSI): This identifier is assigned by the VLR after a mobile
        station establishes itself in the network. The network then uses this identifier rather than the IMSI when
        performing various call management tasks.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



         International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI): An identification number assigned to
         GSM mobile stations that uniquely identifies each one. It is a 15 digit serial number that contains a type
         approval code, final assembly code and serial number.



31)      Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Numbers (ARFCNs): A channel numbering scheme used to
         identify specific RF channels in a GSM radio system.



32)      Power Control: A technique for managing the transmit power in base stations and mobiles to a
         minimum level needed for proper performance. Downlink power control applies to base stations and
         uplink power control to mobiles. Power control is used in nearly all wireless systems to manage
         interference, and in the case of mobiles, to extend battery life.



33)      Time Division Duplex (TDD): A duplexing technique dividing a radio channel in time to allow
         downlink operation during part of the frame period and uplink operation in the remainder of the frame
         period.
         Frequency Division Duplex (FDD): Radio technology using a paired spectrum. This type is typically
         used in GSM.



34)      Extended cells have a radius of maximum120 km. They are mainly used for coastal regions where an
         extended version of macro cells is needed. The capacity of a TRX is reduced to half if extended cells
         are implemented.



35)      Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA): Method of allowing multiple users to share the radio
         frequency spectrum by assigning each active user an individual frequency channel. In this practice, users
         are dynamically allocated a group of frequencies so that the apparent availability is greater than the
         number of channels.
         Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA): A technology for digital transmission of radio signals
         between, for example, a mobile telephone and a radio base station. In TDMA, the frequency band is split
         into a number of channels which in turn are stacked into short time units so that several calls can share a
         single channel without interfering with one another.
         Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA): One of several digital wireless transmission methods in
         which signals are encoded using a specific pseudo-random sequence, or code, to define a communication
         channel. A receiver, knowing the code, can use it to decode the received signal in the presence of other
         signals in the channel.




36)      Control and signaling channels are used for SMS.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



37)      Random Access Channel (RACH).



38)      Access Grant Channel (AGCH): A downlink control channel used in GSM systems to assign mobiles
         to a SDCCH for initial assignment.



39)      Slow Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH): A low-speed bi-directional point-to-point control
         channel used to transmit service request, subscriber authentication, ciphering initiation, equipment
         validation and traffic channel assignment messages between the mobile and the network.


40)      Physical Channel The actual radio channel that carries the various logical and traffic channels in a
         wireless system.
         Logical Channel A communications channel derived from a physical channel. A physical channel, i.e.
         RF channel, typically carries a data stream that contains several logical channels. These usually include
         multiple control and traffic channels.



41)      •TDMA Frame : 8 time slots per carrier : 576.92 µs x 8 = 4.615 ms frame duration
         • control slot multiframe = 51 TDMA frames
         • traffic slot multiframe = 26 TDMA frames (120 msec)
         • Superframe = 26 x 51 multiframes ( 6.12 sec)
         • Hyperframe = 2048 superframes ( ~ 3.5 hours )




42)      Frequency Correction Channel (FCCH) A logical channel in GSM systems used to transmit a
         frequency correction data burst of all "zeros". The resulting frequency shift seen by the mobile is then
         used for frequency correction.
         Synchronization Channel (SCH) A logical channel used by mobile stations to achieve time
         synchronization with the network.
         Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH) A downlink point to multipoint logical channel in GSM and
         cdma2000 systems used to send identification and organization information about common control
         channels and cell services.



43)      Slow Associated Control Channel (SACCH) A low-speed control channel associated with a traffic
         channel and used to transmit supervision and control messages between the mobile and the network.



44)      Paging Channel (PCH) A logical channel used to send messages to mobile station. Used primarily to
         notify the mobile that it has an incoming call.
         Cell Broadcast Channel A downlink point to multipoint logical channel in a GSM system used to
         broadcast user information from a service center to mobile stations listening in a given cell area.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




45)     We do not keep BCCH on hopping radio.
        BCCH is used to transmit all the overhead information needed for an MS to recognize the network in
        idle mode, so there is no need for a hopping radio. But we keep the SDCCH and TCH on hopping
        TRXs so that the MS does not experience call drops when it is either in dedicated mode or during call
        setup procedure.



46)     According to GSM recommendations, there is a delay equal to 3 time slots (=1.73 usec) in between
        uplink & downlink because of the following facts:-
                  If MS receives & transmit simultaneously, it will chew up the battery of the MS.
                  The delay of 3 time slot is sufficient enough to detune itself from the downlink frequency &
                  tune to the uplink frequency.
                  The difference of 3 time slot in between receiving & transmission is used to process the
                  normal burst that is just received i.e. the process of Adaptive Equalization.
                  The difference of 3 time slot in between receiving & transmission is used to perform
                  measurement, process & store result.



47)     Traffic channels are defined using a 26-frame multiframe, or group of 26 TDMA frames. The length of
        a 26-frame multiframe is 120 ms, which is how the length of a burst period is defined (120 ms divided
        by 26 frames divided by 8 burst periods per frame). Out of the 26 frames, 24 are used for traffic, 1 is
        used for the slow associated control channel (SACCH) and 1 is idle/unused.
        SACCH is used to transmit supervision and control messages between mobile and the network while
        the MS is in dedicated mode. Idle burst is used to differentiate between two consecutive TCH
        multiframes.



48)     Fast Associated Control Channel (FACCH) The channel derived by preempting information in a
        traffic channel. It is used to send handoff and similar messages.



49)     Burst     A term, usually associated with a TDMA system, describing a group of bits or other
        information transmitted by the system. Also refers to the time the transmitter is on and radiating.
                  The normal burst (NB): Used to carry information on traffic and control channels, except
                  for RACH. It contains 116 encrypted bits.
                  The frequency correction burst (FB): Used for frequency synchronization of the mobile.
                  The contents of this burst are used to calculate an unmodulated, sinusoidal oscillation, onto
                  which the synthesizer of the mobiles is clocked.
                  The synchronization burst (SB): Used for time synchronization of the mobile. It contains
                  a long training sequence and carries the information of a TDMA frame number.
                  The access burst (AB): Used for random access and characterized by a longer guard period
                  (256 ms) to allow for burst transmission from a mobile that does not know the correct
                  timing advance at the first access to a network (or after handover).
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



                      The dummy burst (DB): Transmitted as a filler in unused timeslots of the carrier; does not
                      carry any information but has the same format as a normal burst (NB).



50)      When measuring antennas, the typical measurement is the Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR).
         VSWR is a mathematical conversion of return loss, which is easily measured using the scalar analyzer.



51)      Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) A measure of the power in the main beam of an
         antenna relative to an isotropic radiator.



52)      Polarisation The radiated field from an antenna is considered to be polarized in the plane of the
         length of the conductors which is the plane of the electric field, the E plane. Confusion arises when
         reference is made to vertical or horizontal polarization and it is preferable when referring to polar
         diagrams to use the E and H plane references.



53)      Fading The variation in signal strength from it normal value. Fading is normally negative and can be
         either fast or slow. It is normally characterized by the distribution of fades, Gaussian, Rician, or
         Rayleigh.
                    Delay Spread A type of distortion due to multipath resulting in the spreading out or
                    "smearing" of the received signal. It occurs when identical signals arrive via different paths
                    and have different time delays.
                    Doppler spread The magnitude of the change in the observed frequency of a wave due to
                    the relative velocity of a transmitter with respect to a receiver.



54)      Rayleigh fading A type of signal fading caused by independent multipath signals having a Rayleigh
         Probability Density Function (PDF).



55)      Multipath Fading It is fading due the arrival of multiple versions of the same signal from different
         locations shifted in time due to having taken different transmission paths of varying lengths.



56)      Techniques to minimise Multipath Fading:

         Equalization is used to extract the desired signal from the unwanted reflections. It works by finding
         out how a known transmitted signal is modified by multipath fading, and constructing an inverse filter
         to extract the rest of the desired signal. This known signal is the 26-bit training sequence transmitted in
         the middle of every time-slot burst.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



         Diversity This technique reduces the effects of fading by using multiple spatially separated antennas to take
         independent samples of the same signal at the same time. The theory is that the fading in these signals is
         uncorrelated and that the probability of all samples being below a threshold at a given instant is low.




57)      Types of Diversity:

              Frequency Diversity
              Time Diversity



58)      Types of Antenna Diversity:

         Polarization Diversity A diversity technique where antennas of different polarizations, I.e. horizontal
         and vertical, are used to provide diversity reception. The antennas take advantage of the multipath
         propagation characteristics to receive separate uncorrelated signals.
         Space Diversity It consists of two receive antennas physically (spatially) separated to provide de-
         correlated receive signals.



59)      Frequency Diversity The simultaneous use of multiple frequencies to transmit of information. This is
         a technique used to overcome the effects of multipath fading, since the wavelength for different
         frequencies result in different and uncorrelated fading characteristics.



60)      Time Diversity The technique used by CDMA systems to overcome the effects of multipath fading.
         Through the use of a rake receiver, individual elements, or fingers, can be offset in time to account for
         different arrival times of multipath signals.



61)      Propagation Mechanisms
         Most propagation in the mobile environment is dominated by these three mechanisms:
             Free space
                  No reflections, no obstructions
                  first Fresnel Zone clear
                  Signal spreading is only mechanism
                  Signal decays 20 dB/decade
             Reflection
                     • Reflected wave 180 degrees out of phase
                     • Reflected wave not attenuated much
                     • Signal decays 30-40 dB/decade
             Knife-edge diffraction
                  • Direct path is blocked by obstruction
                  • Additional loss is introduced
                  • Formulae available for simple cases
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




62)        Diffraction A propagation phenomenon that allows radio waves to propagate beyond obstructions
           via secondary waves created by the obstruction. Classic types of diffractions are smooth earth and
           knife-edge.




63)        Knife-Edge Diffraction Sometimes a single well-defined obstruction blocks the path, introducing
           additional loss. This calculation is fairly easy and can be used as a manual tool to estimate the effects
           of individual obstructions. This kind of diffraction is called Knife Edge Diffraction.




64)        Scattering A phenomenon that occurs when the medium through which a radio wave travels
           consists of objects with dimensions small compared to the wavelength and diffuses the wave as it
           propagates through it.




65)        FSPL:




66)        Fresnel zones The effect of indirect waves can be predicted by calculating where the reflection
           occurs in relation to a series of ellipsoids which can be drawn around the line-of-sight path between
           the transmitting and receiving antennas. These ellipsoids, known as the Fresnel zones, contain the
           points where reflected waves will follow a path of constant length.




67)        Beamwidth More properly referred to as the half-power beamwidth this is the angle of an antenna
           pattern or beam over which the relative power is at or above 50% of the peak power.




68)        Bandwidth The information-carrying capacity of a communications channel. Usually expressed in
           Hertz (cycles per second) for analog circuits and in bits per second (bps) for digital circuits.
                   3dB BW
                   Absolute BW
                   Coherence BW
                   Modulation
                   Null-to-null
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




69)         Signal-to-noise ratio The ratio of power in a signal to the noise power in the channel. This term is
            usually applied to lower frequency signals, such as voice waveforms.
            Front to Back ratio It is the ratio of the gain at 0 degree to the gain at 180 degrees. It provides how
            well unwanted signals from the rear can be rejected.




70)         There are four different types of handovers in GSM, which involve transferring a connection
            between:
                   Channels (timeslots) in the same cell (intra-BTS handover)
                   Cells under the control of the same BSC (inter-BTS handover).
                   Cells under the control of different BSCs, but belonging to the same
                   MSC (inter-BSC handover)
                   Cells under the control of different MSCs (inter-MSC handover)




71)         The reasons for Handover Failure are:
                   uplink interference
                   downlink interference
                   neighbors not well defined
                   low uplink RXLev value
                   low downlink RXLev value
                   large distance between BTS and MS
                   discrepancies in the power budget calculations
                   low C/I & C/A values




72)         Hard Handover The hard handover is a break before make handover just like in other wireless
            systems and must be used where the current and handover candidate base stations do not use the
            same RF channel.
            Soft handover A process of establishing a call connection simultaneously to two separate base
            stations in a network. This technique allows the use of a dual path in the handover region to improve
            performance. Soft handover can only occur between base stations using the same RF channel.



73)         SYNC Handover is the handover between synchronous neighbor cells of the same base station.
            ASYNC Handover is the handover between cells of different base stations (asynchronous
            neighbors).
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




74)         Emergency Handover Emergency handover occurs in following situations
              When there is heavy traffic and congestion in a particular, the calls are forced to handover to
              another BTS/cell.
              When a particular BTS is undergoing maintenance the traffic is handover to another neighboring
              BTS.




77)         Vertical handover refers to a network node changing the type of connectivity it uses to access a
            supporting infrastructure, usually to support node mobility. Vertical handoffs refer to the automatic
            failover from one technology to another in order to maintain communication. Horizontal handover
            is the handover between different wireless access points that use the same technology. It is different
            from vertical handoff in that it involves changing the data link layer technology used to access the
            network.




78)         Multilayer Handoff



79)         Handovers can be initiated by either the BSC or the MSC (as a means of traffic load balancing).



80)         MSC is involved in handover decision making only if cells under the control of different BSCs, but
            belonging to the same MSC (inter-BSC handover) or if cells are under the control of different MSCs
            (inter-MSC handover)




81)         During its idle timeslots, the MS scans the broadcast control channel of up to 16 neighboring cells,
            and forms a list of the six best candidates for possible handover, based on the received signal
            strength. This information is passed to the BSC and MSC, at least once per second, and is used by
            the handover algorithm.


82)         GSM uses a modulation format called GMSK. In this type of modulation, amplitude remains
            constant during phase shifts of ±90 degrees. The constellation diagram of a GSM signal thus
            resembles a circle.
            Reasons for using GMSK in GSM:
                    The key measurement of this type of modulation is phase error, as there is no magnitude
                    error. Many test instruments can plot this phase versus bits, as graphic representations often
                    paint a picture much more clearly. In this way, the technician can quickly see if the
                    modulation is passing or not.
                    GSM uses a constant signal envelope, which means less battery drain and more robustness in
                    the presence of interfering signals.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




83)        ASK simply varies the amplitude of the carrier between two states, one representing a one, the other
           representing a zero.
           PSK the phase of the carrier is shifted, depending on the data to be sent. The simplest form of this
           is binary PSK (BPSK), where two phase states represent either a one or a zero.
           FSK, where the frequency is shifted between to states to represent a one or zero, is actually used
           quite extensively in analog system signaling.




84)        Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) A type of phase modulation using 2 pairs of distinct
           carrier phases, in quadrature, to signal ones and zeros.
           Offset Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (O-QPSK) A type of QPSK modulation that offsets the
           bit streams on the I and Q channels by a half bit. This reduces amplitude fluctuations and helps
           improve spectral efficiency.




85)        Minimum Shift Keying A modulation technique using sinusoidal shaped input data pulses to drive
           the phase modulator. This results in a linear phase change over conventional QPSK, resulting in
           lower side lobes and less adjacent channel interference performance.




86)        Quadrature Amplitude Modulation A type of modulation where the signaling information is
           carried in the phase and amplitude of the modulated carrier wave.



87)        Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) A technique for encoding the samples of an analog
           waveform as part of the PCM process.
           Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) The most predominant type of digital modulation in use today.
           PCM performs an analog to digital conversion of the speech waveform through a sampling process
           and encodes and transmits the samples in a serial bit stream as 8-bit digital words.




88)        Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM) A modulation technique that transmits
           blocks of symbols in parallel by employing a large number of orthogonal subcarriers. The data is
           divided into blocks and sent in parallel on separate sub-carriers. By doing this, the symbol period can
           be increased and the effects of delay spread are reduced.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



            Frequency Division Multiplex (FDM) The process of placing two or more independent channels
            next to each other in the frequency domain (stacking the channels ) and then modulating a single
            high frequency carrier with the combined signal is called FDM
            Time Division Multiplex (TDM) Transmissions from the same multiple sources occur on the
            same facility but not at the same time. Transmissions from various sources are interleaved in the time
            domain.



89)         In GPRS, the modulation scheme is GMSK; in EDGE, it is 8-PSK

            Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK) A modulation technique involving Gaussian filtering
            of the input data prior to its application to the phase modulator. This results in a narrow occupied
            spectrum and better adjacent channel interference performance.
            8-Phase Shift Keying (8-PSK) Similar to QPSK, 8PSK uses phase locations to determine the
            pattern. The 8PSK is a higher order modulation scheme, meaning it can transmit more information
            per shift or symbol. Whereas QPSK transmits 2 bits per symbol, 8PSK transmits 3 bits per symbol.
            Naturally, this does require a more complex system, as the phase states are closer together.



90)         Co-channel Interference (C/I) Unwanted interference within a radio channel from another
            transmitter using the same channel at a different location. Co-channel interference is very common in
            a frequency reuse system and must be carefully controlled to prevent problems.




91)         Adjacent Channel Interference (C/A) Out of band power generated in adjacent channels by
            transmitters operating in their assigned channel. The amount of adjacent channel interference a
            receiver sees is a function of transmitter and receiver filter characteristics and the number of
            transmitters operating in the area.




92)         RxQUAL is a value b/w 0 -7 where each value corresponds to an estimated number of bit errors in
            a number of bursts.
            Each RXQUAL value corresponds to the estimated bit error rate according to the following table

                                    RXQUAL             Bit Error Rate (BER)
                                       0                    BER < 0.2%
                                       1                0.2% < BER < 0.4%
                                       2                0.4% < BER < 0.8%
                                       3                0.8% < BER < 1.6%
                                       4                1.6% < BER < 3.2%
                                       5                3.2% < BER < 6.4%
                                       6               6.4% < BER < 12.8%
                                       7                   12.8% < BER
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




93)         In GSM there are two types of values presented for BER, namely BER FULL and BER SUB.
            The FULL values are based upon all frames on the SACCH multiframe, whether they have been
            transmitted from the base station or not.
            The SUB values are based on the mandatory frames on the SACCH multifame. These frames must
            always be transmitted.




94)         SQI




95)         Base Station Identity Code (BSIC) A unique code contained in messages on the broadcast
            channels of a cell or base station that uniquely identifies the base station.




96)         Advanced Multi Rate (AMR) Codec During 1999, ETSI standardized this new speech codec for
            GSM. The codec adapts its bit-rate allocation between speech and channel coding, thereby
            optimizing speech quality in various radio channel conditions. For this reason, 3GPP (under which
            the next stage GSM speech quality will be realized) has selected the AMR codec as an essential
            speech codec for the next generation system.




97)         Reasons for Call Drop:
                  Bad Quality UL or DL or Both.
                  Low Signal Strength UL or DL or Both.
                  Timing Advancement limit reached.

                      If the SACCH frame is not received, then it is considered to be dropped call.
                      There is some relation between the number of dropped calls and voice quality. If the voice
                      quality were not a limiting factor, perhaps the dropped call rate would be very low in the
                      network. Calls can drop in the network due to quality degradation, which may be due to
                      many factors such as capacity limitations, interference unfavourable propagation conditions,
                      blocking, etc.

            Scenario Based Call Drops:

            First scenario in which you can have drops due to congestion is if queuing is enabled, and the queue
            length is not cleared till a particular threshold.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



            Second case in which pre-emption is enabled and call priority settings are done. So in that case the
            call with high priority will be given the preference, either by shifting the present call to other cell (if
            resources are available) else present call will be dropped because of low priority.

            Third scenario is when you have an overload situation, and to overcome it, calls with low priority are
            dropped (after rejecting the new call and paging requests)




98) Counters




99)         Drive testing is required when :
                    The quality of the network is ultimately determined by the satisfaction of the users of the
                    network, the subscribers. Drive tests give the ‘feel’ of the designed network as it is
                    experienced in the field.
                    All the parameters for example received power levels from own cell and neighbor cells, FER,
                    BER, MS power control, etc. are low and weak.
                    Less penetration level of signals in different regions of the network. These results can then
                    be compared with the plans made before the network launch.
                    Once the network goes ‘live’, the drive test and NMS statistics help in further fine-tuning of
                    the parameters, and it is at this point that a set of default parameters is created for the whole
                    network.




100)        Cell Reselection After a cell has been successfully selected by the MS, it will start making
            measurements on its neighboring cells BCCH carriers. If a cell with stronger signal level is found, it
            will be decided if a cell reselection should be executed.




101)        C1 & C2 Criteria For an MS in GPRS mode currently on a cell with no PBCCH (only on demand
            Packet Data Channels) C1 and C2 criteria are used just like for all circuit switched MSs in Idle Mode.
            in idle mode, the MS continuously calculates the cell selection quantity,

            C1. (The name of this quantity in the GSM Technical Specifications is “path loss criterion
            parameter”. As the C1-criterion is based only on signal strength and not on path loss, the term used
            in this document is “cell selection quantity”.) The cell selection criterion is satisfied if C1 > 0.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




102)       Call Re-establishment This procedure occurs when the call is dropped after it was established
           initially so that it can re-establish again.



103)       short calls long calls during dt




104)       Call Setup Success Rate (CSSR) This is the global setup success rate of a call, all the way from the
           SDCCH to assignment complete message. The proportion of call setup attempts resulting in
           successful TCH assignment the basic idea is to count all the drops before successful TCH
           assignment.
           Call Establishment Failure Rate (CEFR) CEFR = 1 – CSSR




105)       Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) An indication of the average signal strength at the
           input of a receiver produced by measurement circuitry in the receiver. Such a measurement does not
           normally include antenna gain or transmission system losses.




106)       RXLEV & RXQUAL Intercell handover from the serving cell to a neighbor cell occurs when
           RXLEV and/or RXQUAL is low on the serving cell and better on the neighbor cell. Intracell
           handover from one channel/time slot to another channel/time slot in the same cell occurs when
           RXLEV is high but RXQUAL is low.




107)       Bit Error Rate (BER) A ratio of the number of errors to data bits received on a digital circuit. BER
           is usually expressed in exponential form.
           Frame Erasure/Error Rate (FER) A measure of the number of frames of data that contained
           errors and could not be processed. FER is usually expressed as a percentage or exponent.



108)       Cell selection When the MS is powered on, it scans all RF frequencies in the GSM band. The aim is
           to find the strongest available and valid BCCH carrier.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




109)        Mobile Originated Call




110)        Handovers Procedure Handovers can be initiated by either the BSC or the MSC (as a means of
            traffic load balancing). During its idle timeslots, the mobile scans the broadcast control channel of up
            to 16 neighboring cells, and forms a list of the six best candidates for possible handover, based on
            the received signal strength. This information is passed to the BSC and MSC, at least once per
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi



            second, and is used by the handover algorithm. The decision on when to initiate a handover is a
            function of the following parameters:
                    receive quality,
                    receive level.
            Successful handovers in GSM can take place at propagation speeds of up to 250 km/h.




111)        RegistrationThis is the process in which an MS informs a network that it is attached.




112)        General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) A packet-linked technology that enables high-speed (115
            kilobit per second) wireless Internet and other data communications over a GSM network. It is
            considered an efficient use of limited bandwidth and is particularly suited for sending and receiving
            small bursts of data.




113)        In the GPRS public land mobile network (PLMN), two of the support nodes that form the GPRS
            backbone are the Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) and the Gateway GPRS Support Node
            (GGSN). The former is the gateway to data services from within the mobile network; the latter is the
            gateway from the PLMN to the outside IP world. These nodes are absent in the GSM architecture.




114)        Difference between GSM & GPRS Architecture

            A GPRS mobile unit works remarkably similar to a GSM mobile. If the mobile needs to be contacted
            or needs to establish a connection, the paging process also works in a very similar manner as the
            GSM voice calls. In the backhaul, however, things are a bit different. The BSC will route the data call
            through a GPRS support node. In the GPRS public land mobile network (PLMN), two of the
            support nodes that form the GPRS backbone are the serving GPRS support node (SGSN) and the
            gateway GPRS support node (GGSN). The former is the gateway to data services from within the
            mobile network; the latter is the gateway from the PLMN to the outside IP world.




115)        Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) A gateway from a cellular network to an IP network.
            Serving GPRS support node (SGSN) is the gateway to data services from within the mobile
            network.

            Once data service is assigned to a mobile, it is the job of the SGSN to track the location of that
            mobile within the network and ensures that the mobile is authenticated and is receiving the correct
            level of quality of service. It is the job of the GGSN to interface with the outside data world. This is
            all done independent of the RF interface, as it is on the backhaul side of the BSC.
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




116)        GPRS has four coding schemes that can be used, depending on the situation. These schemes are
            designated as CS-1 to CS-4.

            GPRS uses a variable coding system, so that more robust coding is used for situations where the RF
            will be weak and less where it is optimal - this allows for optimal data throughput.




117)        The maximum data rate for a GPRS frame, assuming all slots are being used for data, is 8 *
            21.4Kbps = 171.2 Kbps. But you can see that is would only be in the most ideal locations and
            situations, as there is no error correction at all.

            There are nine coding rates and modulation settings in EDGE, which allow for data transmission
            rates from 8.8 Kbps up to 59.2 Kbps per slot.




118)        Enhanced Data for Global Evolution (EDGE) A technology that gives GSMA and TDMA
            similar capacity to handle services for the third generation of mobile telephony. EDGE was
            developed to enable the transmission of large amounts of data at a high speed, 384 kilobits per
            second. (It increases available time slots and data rates over existing wireless networks.)




119)        GPRS terminals are classified depending on their capabilities. Currently three types of classifications
            are used:
                    Class A mobile stations can make and receive calls on GSM and GPRS at the same time.
                    Class B mobile stations can make and receive calls on GSM and GPRS, but not at the same
                    time.
                    Class C mobile stations need to be manually selected as far as whether they will operate in
                    GPRS or GSM modes. This selection is done at the time of subscription of service by the
                    user; thus, when a customer purchases a class C mobile, he or she must select either GPRS
                    or GSM mode.




120)        Base Station Subsystem (BSS) That portion of a GSM network that includes the base station,
            base station controller and transcoders (if used).
Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi




121)        The Network Subsystem (NSS) consists of :
                  mobile switching center (MSC)
                  The home location register (HLR)
                  The visitor location register (VLR)
                  The authentication center (AuC)
                  The equipment identity register (EIR)




122)        Home Location Register (HLR) The functional unit responsible for managing mobile subscribers.
            Two types of information reside in the HLR: subscriber information and part of the mobile
            information that allow incoming calls to be routed to the mobile subscriber. The HLR stores the
            IMSI, MS ISDN number, VLR address, and subscriber data on supplementary services.

            Visitor Location Register (VLR) The functional unit responsible for managing mobile subscribers
            currently attached to the network. Two types of information reside in the VLR: subscriber
            information and the part of the mobile information that allows incoming calls to be routed to the
            mobile subscriber. The VLR stores the MSRN, TMSI, the location area, data on supplementary
            services, IMSI, MS ISDN number, HLR address or GT, and local MS identity, if used.




123)       The Equipment Identity Register (EIR): The EIR is a database that contains a list of all valid
            mobile station equipment within the network, where each mobile station is identified by its
            international mobile equipment identity (IMEI). The EIR has three databases:
                     White list: for all known, good IMEIs
                     Black list: for bad or stolen handsets
                     Grey list: for handsets/IMEIs that are uncertain.

            The Authentication Center (AuC): A protected database that holds a copy of the secret key stored
            in each subscriber's SIM card, which is used for authentication and encryption over the radio
            channel. The AuC provides additional security against fraud. It is normally located close to each HLR
            within a GSM network.




124)        Radio Base Station (RBS) A term used to represent Ericsson BTS.




125)        E1 carrier It is a PCM carrier having a data rate of 2.048 Mbps. This carrier has 32 8-bit samples
            packed into the basic 125 usec frame.
            T1 carrier The T1 carrier consists of 24 voice channels multiplexed at a rate of 1.544 Mbps.

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GSM RF Interview Q&A

  • 1. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi GSM RF INTERVIEW FAQs 1) GSM PLMN Services Bearer Services Thse services give the subscriber the capacity required to transmit appropriate signals b/w certain access points(i.e., user-network interfaces). Teleservices These services provide the subscriber with necessary capabilities including terminal equipment functions to communicate with other subscribers. Supplementary Services These services modify or supplement basic telecommunications services. These services are offered together or in association with basic telecommunications services. 2) GSM 900 Uplink :890 – 915 MHz Downlink : 935 - 960 MHz 3) DCS 1800 Uplink : 1710 - 1785 MHz Downlink :1805 – 1885 MHz 4) Bands Carrier frequencies GSM 900 (915-890) MHz / 200 kHz = 125, (1 – 124) ARFCNs DCS 1800 (1785-1710) MHz / 200 kHz = 375, (1 – 374) ARFCNs each band having a carrier separation of 200 kHz. 5) Ciphering The purpose of ciphering id to encode the transmitted burst so that it cannot be hacked or tapped by any other device before reaching the receiver. The algorithm used for ciphering is the A5 algorithm 6) Authentication normally takes place when the MS is turned on with each incoming call and outgoing call. A verification that the »Ki« (security code) stored in the AuC matches the »Ki« stored in SIM card of the MS completes this process. 7) Equalization is used to extract the desired signal from the unwanted reflections. It works by finding out how a known transmitted signal is modified by multipath fading, and constructing an inverse filter to extract the rest of the desired signal. This known signal is the 26-bit training sequence transmitted in the middle of every time-slot burst. The actual implementation of the equalizer is not specified in the GSM specifications.
  • 2. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 8) Interleaving The process of spreading a block of data over a wider time frame by placing data bits from other data blocks in between the original data bits in the block. Interleaving is frequently done in digital system to spread the data so that bits from the same block are not contiguous and bit errors are randomized to the point FEC is more effective. Systems using this technique are more likely to withstand Rayleigh and other bursty fading and interference phenomenon. 9) Digitization The digitization of analogue waveforms by pulse code modulation is accomplished in two stages. First the waveform is sampled to produce pulse amplitude modulation (PAM). Short- duration samples are taken at regular intervals which are long compared with the sampling time but short in relation to the highest signal frequency. The result is a train of pulses whose amplitude envelope is the same as the analogue waveform. 10) Speech Coding: An electronic process of sampling and digitizing a voice signal. 11) Channel Coding: The application of forward error correction codes to an RF channel to improve performance and throughput. 12) Frequency Reuse: A technique of reusing frequencies and channels within communications system to improve capacity and spectral efficiency. Frequency reuse generally utilizes regular reuse patterns. 13) Cell Splitting: The process of splitting a cell into several smaller cells. This is usually done to make more voice channels available to accommodate traffic growth in the area covered by the original cell. 14) Interfaces: 15) The protocol used on the Abis interface is Link Access Protocol for the D-channel (LAP-D), which is adapted from ISDN. LAPD provides the following frame types that can be divided into three groups: the unnumbered frames (SABM, DISC, UA, DM, UI), the information transfer frame (I) the supervisory frames (RR, RNR, REJ, FRMR). 16) WPS
  • 3. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 17) MA 18) MAIO Mobile Allocation Index Offset: It is the offset index to the Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Numbers (ARFCNs) with the allocated frequenices. 19) Base Band Frequency Hopping (BBH) In baseband hopping, each transmitter is assigned with a fixed frequency. At transmission, all bursts, irrespective of which connection, are routed to the appropriate transmitter of the proper frequency. The advantage with this mode is that narrow-band tuneable filter combiners can be used. This makes it possible to use many transceivers with one combiner. Synthesiser Frequency Hopping (SFH) Synthesizer hopping means that one transmitter handles all bursts that belong to a specific connection. The bursts are sent “straight on forward” and not routed by the bus. In contrast to baseband hopping, the transmitter tunes to the correct frequency at the transmission of each burst. 20) Cycling Frequency Hopping In cyclic hopping, the frequencies are changed, in every TDMA frame, in a consecutive order. For instance, the sequence of frequencies for cyclic hopping between four frequencies may appear as follows: ________________________________ ... , f4, f1, f2, f3, f4, f1, f2, f3, f4, f1, f2, ... ________________________________ A cyclic sequence is specified by setting parameter HSN (hopping sequence number) to 0. There is only one cyclic sequence defined in the GSM specifications. The sequence of frequencies goes from the lowest absolute frequency number in the set of frequencies specified for that channel group, to the highest, and over again. 21) Hopping Sequence Number (HSN) In order to spread the interference between all cells using the same hopping TCHs, e.g. in an FLP 1/1 plan, Hopping Sequence Number (HSN) planning is used. HSN is planned in order to avoid correlation between closely located cells. 22) Discontinuous Transmission: A feature in mobile systems where transmitters mute when there is no information to send, such as during periods of silence. This feature prolongs battery life in portable phones and reduces interference in wireless systems.
  • 4. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 23) Discontinuous Reception A feature in mobile systems where receiver mute when there is no information to send, such as during periods of silence. This feature prolongs battery life in portable phones and reduces interference in wireless systems. 24) GSM Data Rate = 270.9 kbits/s using GMSK as the modulation technique. 25) Erlang A measure of radio usage. One Erlang is equivalent to one telephone line being permanently used. Grade of Service (GoS): A measure of the success a subscriber is expected to have in accessing a network to complete a call. The grade of service is usually expressed as percentage of calls attempted by the subscriber during the busy-hour that are blocked due to insufficient network resources. 26) GSM 900 is better in terms of coverage and quality. According to RF basics, if two signals having different frequencies are transmitted with same power, the signal with low frequency will travel much far than the signal with high frequency. Propagation losses will be less for low frequency as compared to a high frequency. Hence if a GSM 900 frequency and a DCS 1800 frequency are transmitted with same power then DCS 1800 frequency will cover only half of the area covered by GSM 900 frequency. 27) Timing Advance (TA) The timing advance ensures the bursts arrive at their destination in the appropriate time slot. The mobile transmits a random access burst in the uplink, and the BTS will make measurements, sending an adjustment on the downlink. Timing advance is measured in bits and can be adjusted up to 63 bits, with each bit lasting 3.69 ms. 28) Location Area To keep paging performance within a safe range, it is necessary to form clusters and page only the cluster of cells for which the MS is known to be situated. These cell clusters are called Location Area. 29) Location Update (LU): This procedure allows the network to keep track of the mobile station to direct the incoming call. 30) International Mobile Station Identity (IMSI): A unique 15 digit number assigned to a mobile station at the time of service subscription. It contains a mobile country code, a mobile network code, mobile subscriber identification number, and a national mobile subscriber identity. Temporary mobile subscriber identity (TMSI): This identifier is assigned by the VLR after a mobile station establishes itself in the network. The network then uses this identifier rather than the IMSI when performing various call management tasks.
  • 5. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI): An identification number assigned to GSM mobile stations that uniquely identifies each one. It is a 15 digit serial number that contains a type approval code, final assembly code and serial number. 31) Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Numbers (ARFCNs): A channel numbering scheme used to identify specific RF channels in a GSM radio system. 32) Power Control: A technique for managing the transmit power in base stations and mobiles to a minimum level needed for proper performance. Downlink power control applies to base stations and uplink power control to mobiles. Power control is used in nearly all wireless systems to manage interference, and in the case of mobiles, to extend battery life. 33) Time Division Duplex (TDD): A duplexing technique dividing a radio channel in time to allow downlink operation during part of the frame period and uplink operation in the remainder of the frame period. Frequency Division Duplex (FDD): Radio technology using a paired spectrum. This type is typically used in GSM. 34) Extended cells have a radius of maximum120 km. They are mainly used for coastal regions where an extended version of macro cells is needed. The capacity of a TRX is reduced to half if extended cells are implemented. 35) Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA): Method of allowing multiple users to share the radio frequency spectrum by assigning each active user an individual frequency channel. In this practice, users are dynamically allocated a group of frequencies so that the apparent availability is greater than the number of channels. Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA): A technology for digital transmission of radio signals between, for example, a mobile telephone and a radio base station. In TDMA, the frequency band is split into a number of channels which in turn are stacked into short time units so that several calls can share a single channel without interfering with one another. Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA): One of several digital wireless transmission methods in which signals are encoded using a specific pseudo-random sequence, or code, to define a communication channel. A receiver, knowing the code, can use it to decode the received signal in the presence of other signals in the channel. 36) Control and signaling channels are used for SMS.
  • 6. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 37) Random Access Channel (RACH). 38) Access Grant Channel (AGCH): A downlink control channel used in GSM systems to assign mobiles to a SDCCH for initial assignment. 39) Slow Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH): A low-speed bi-directional point-to-point control channel used to transmit service request, subscriber authentication, ciphering initiation, equipment validation and traffic channel assignment messages between the mobile and the network. 40) Physical Channel The actual radio channel that carries the various logical and traffic channels in a wireless system. Logical Channel A communications channel derived from a physical channel. A physical channel, i.e. RF channel, typically carries a data stream that contains several logical channels. These usually include multiple control and traffic channels. 41) •TDMA Frame : 8 time slots per carrier : 576.92 µs x 8 = 4.615 ms frame duration • control slot multiframe = 51 TDMA frames • traffic slot multiframe = 26 TDMA frames (120 msec) • Superframe = 26 x 51 multiframes ( 6.12 sec) • Hyperframe = 2048 superframes ( ~ 3.5 hours ) 42) Frequency Correction Channel (FCCH) A logical channel in GSM systems used to transmit a frequency correction data burst of all "zeros". The resulting frequency shift seen by the mobile is then used for frequency correction. Synchronization Channel (SCH) A logical channel used by mobile stations to achieve time synchronization with the network. Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH) A downlink point to multipoint logical channel in GSM and cdma2000 systems used to send identification and organization information about common control channels and cell services. 43) Slow Associated Control Channel (SACCH) A low-speed control channel associated with a traffic channel and used to transmit supervision and control messages between the mobile and the network. 44) Paging Channel (PCH) A logical channel used to send messages to mobile station. Used primarily to notify the mobile that it has an incoming call. Cell Broadcast Channel A downlink point to multipoint logical channel in a GSM system used to broadcast user information from a service center to mobile stations listening in a given cell area.
  • 7. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 45) We do not keep BCCH on hopping radio. BCCH is used to transmit all the overhead information needed for an MS to recognize the network in idle mode, so there is no need for a hopping radio. But we keep the SDCCH and TCH on hopping TRXs so that the MS does not experience call drops when it is either in dedicated mode or during call setup procedure. 46) According to GSM recommendations, there is a delay equal to 3 time slots (=1.73 usec) in between uplink & downlink because of the following facts:- If MS receives & transmit simultaneously, it will chew up the battery of the MS. The delay of 3 time slot is sufficient enough to detune itself from the downlink frequency & tune to the uplink frequency. The difference of 3 time slot in between receiving & transmission is used to process the normal burst that is just received i.e. the process of Adaptive Equalization. The difference of 3 time slot in between receiving & transmission is used to perform measurement, process & store result. 47) Traffic channels are defined using a 26-frame multiframe, or group of 26 TDMA frames. The length of a 26-frame multiframe is 120 ms, which is how the length of a burst period is defined (120 ms divided by 26 frames divided by 8 burst periods per frame). Out of the 26 frames, 24 are used for traffic, 1 is used for the slow associated control channel (SACCH) and 1 is idle/unused. SACCH is used to transmit supervision and control messages between mobile and the network while the MS is in dedicated mode. Idle burst is used to differentiate between two consecutive TCH multiframes. 48) Fast Associated Control Channel (FACCH) The channel derived by preempting information in a traffic channel. It is used to send handoff and similar messages. 49) Burst A term, usually associated with a TDMA system, describing a group of bits or other information transmitted by the system. Also refers to the time the transmitter is on and radiating. The normal burst (NB): Used to carry information on traffic and control channels, except for RACH. It contains 116 encrypted bits. The frequency correction burst (FB): Used for frequency synchronization of the mobile. The contents of this burst are used to calculate an unmodulated, sinusoidal oscillation, onto which the synthesizer of the mobiles is clocked. The synchronization burst (SB): Used for time synchronization of the mobile. It contains a long training sequence and carries the information of a TDMA frame number. The access burst (AB): Used for random access and characterized by a longer guard period (256 ms) to allow for burst transmission from a mobile that does not know the correct timing advance at the first access to a network (or after handover).
  • 8. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi The dummy burst (DB): Transmitted as a filler in unused timeslots of the carrier; does not carry any information but has the same format as a normal burst (NB). 50) When measuring antennas, the typical measurement is the Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR). VSWR is a mathematical conversion of return loss, which is easily measured using the scalar analyzer. 51) Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) A measure of the power in the main beam of an antenna relative to an isotropic radiator. 52) Polarisation The radiated field from an antenna is considered to be polarized in the plane of the length of the conductors which is the plane of the electric field, the E plane. Confusion arises when reference is made to vertical or horizontal polarization and it is preferable when referring to polar diagrams to use the E and H plane references. 53) Fading The variation in signal strength from it normal value. Fading is normally negative and can be either fast or slow. It is normally characterized by the distribution of fades, Gaussian, Rician, or Rayleigh. Delay Spread A type of distortion due to multipath resulting in the spreading out or "smearing" of the received signal. It occurs when identical signals arrive via different paths and have different time delays. Doppler spread The magnitude of the change in the observed frequency of a wave due to the relative velocity of a transmitter with respect to a receiver. 54) Rayleigh fading A type of signal fading caused by independent multipath signals having a Rayleigh Probability Density Function (PDF). 55) Multipath Fading It is fading due the arrival of multiple versions of the same signal from different locations shifted in time due to having taken different transmission paths of varying lengths. 56) Techniques to minimise Multipath Fading: Equalization is used to extract the desired signal from the unwanted reflections. It works by finding out how a known transmitted signal is modified by multipath fading, and constructing an inverse filter to extract the rest of the desired signal. This known signal is the 26-bit training sequence transmitted in the middle of every time-slot burst.
  • 9. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi Diversity This technique reduces the effects of fading by using multiple spatially separated antennas to take independent samples of the same signal at the same time. The theory is that the fading in these signals is uncorrelated and that the probability of all samples being below a threshold at a given instant is low. 57) Types of Diversity: Frequency Diversity Time Diversity 58) Types of Antenna Diversity: Polarization Diversity A diversity technique where antennas of different polarizations, I.e. horizontal and vertical, are used to provide diversity reception. The antennas take advantage of the multipath propagation characteristics to receive separate uncorrelated signals. Space Diversity It consists of two receive antennas physically (spatially) separated to provide de- correlated receive signals. 59) Frequency Diversity The simultaneous use of multiple frequencies to transmit of information. This is a technique used to overcome the effects of multipath fading, since the wavelength for different frequencies result in different and uncorrelated fading characteristics. 60) Time Diversity The technique used by CDMA systems to overcome the effects of multipath fading. Through the use of a rake receiver, individual elements, or fingers, can be offset in time to account for different arrival times of multipath signals. 61) Propagation Mechanisms Most propagation in the mobile environment is dominated by these three mechanisms: Free space No reflections, no obstructions first Fresnel Zone clear Signal spreading is only mechanism Signal decays 20 dB/decade Reflection • Reflected wave 180 degrees out of phase • Reflected wave not attenuated much • Signal decays 30-40 dB/decade Knife-edge diffraction • Direct path is blocked by obstruction • Additional loss is introduced • Formulae available for simple cases
  • 10. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 62) Diffraction A propagation phenomenon that allows radio waves to propagate beyond obstructions via secondary waves created by the obstruction. Classic types of diffractions are smooth earth and knife-edge. 63) Knife-Edge Diffraction Sometimes a single well-defined obstruction blocks the path, introducing additional loss. This calculation is fairly easy and can be used as a manual tool to estimate the effects of individual obstructions. This kind of diffraction is called Knife Edge Diffraction. 64) Scattering A phenomenon that occurs when the medium through which a radio wave travels consists of objects with dimensions small compared to the wavelength and diffuses the wave as it propagates through it. 65) FSPL: 66) Fresnel zones The effect of indirect waves can be predicted by calculating where the reflection occurs in relation to a series of ellipsoids which can be drawn around the line-of-sight path between the transmitting and receiving antennas. These ellipsoids, known as the Fresnel zones, contain the points where reflected waves will follow a path of constant length. 67) Beamwidth More properly referred to as the half-power beamwidth this is the angle of an antenna pattern or beam over which the relative power is at or above 50% of the peak power. 68) Bandwidth The information-carrying capacity of a communications channel. Usually expressed in Hertz (cycles per second) for analog circuits and in bits per second (bps) for digital circuits. 3dB BW Absolute BW Coherence BW Modulation Null-to-null
  • 11. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 69) Signal-to-noise ratio The ratio of power in a signal to the noise power in the channel. This term is usually applied to lower frequency signals, such as voice waveforms. Front to Back ratio It is the ratio of the gain at 0 degree to the gain at 180 degrees. It provides how well unwanted signals from the rear can be rejected. 70) There are four different types of handovers in GSM, which involve transferring a connection between: Channels (timeslots) in the same cell (intra-BTS handover) Cells under the control of the same BSC (inter-BTS handover). Cells under the control of different BSCs, but belonging to the same MSC (inter-BSC handover) Cells under the control of different MSCs (inter-MSC handover) 71) The reasons for Handover Failure are: uplink interference downlink interference neighbors not well defined low uplink RXLev value low downlink RXLev value large distance between BTS and MS discrepancies in the power budget calculations low C/I & C/A values 72) Hard Handover The hard handover is a break before make handover just like in other wireless systems and must be used where the current and handover candidate base stations do not use the same RF channel. Soft handover A process of establishing a call connection simultaneously to two separate base stations in a network. This technique allows the use of a dual path in the handover region to improve performance. Soft handover can only occur between base stations using the same RF channel. 73) SYNC Handover is the handover between synchronous neighbor cells of the same base station. ASYNC Handover is the handover between cells of different base stations (asynchronous neighbors).
  • 12. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 74) Emergency Handover Emergency handover occurs in following situations When there is heavy traffic and congestion in a particular, the calls are forced to handover to another BTS/cell. When a particular BTS is undergoing maintenance the traffic is handover to another neighboring BTS. 77) Vertical handover refers to a network node changing the type of connectivity it uses to access a supporting infrastructure, usually to support node mobility. Vertical handoffs refer to the automatic failover from one technology to another in order to maintain communication. Horizontal handover is the handover between different wireless access points that use the same technology. It is different from vertical handoff in that it involves changing the data link layer technology used to access the network. 78) Multilayer Handoff 79) Handovers can be initiated by either the BSC or the MSC (as a means of traffic load balancing). 80) MSC is involved in handover decision making only if cells under the control of different BSCs, but belonging to the same MSC (inter-BSC handover) or if cells are under the control of different MSCs (inter-MSC handover) 81) During its idle timeslots, the MS scans the broadcast control channel of up to 16 neighboring cells, and forms a list of the six best candidates for possible handover, based on the received signal strength. This information is passed to the BSC and MSC, at least once per second, and is used by the handover algorithm. 82) GSM uses a modulation format called GMSK. In this type of modulation, amplitude remains constant during phase shifts of ±90 degrees. The constellation diagram of a GSM signal thus resembles a circle. Reasons for using GMSK in GSM: The key measurement of this type of modulation is phase error, as there is no magnitude error. Many test instruments can plot this phase versus bits, as graphic representations often paint a picture much more clearly. In this way, the technician can quickly see if the modulation is passing or not. GSM uses a constant signal envelope, which means less battery drain and more robustness in the presence of interfering signals.
  • 13. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 83) ASK simply varies the amplitude of the carrier between two states, one representing a one, the other representing a zero. PSK the phase of the carrier is shifted, depending on the data to be sent. The simplest form of this is binary PSK (BPSK), where two phase states represent either a one or a zero. FSK, where the frequency is shifted between to states to represent a one or zero, is actually used quite extensively in analog system signaling. 84) Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) A type of phase modulation using 2 pairs of distinct carrier phases, in quadrature, to signal ones and zeros. Offset Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (O-QPSK) A type of QPSK modulation that offsets the bit streams on the I and Q channels by a half bit. This reduces amplitude fluctuations and helps improve spectral efficiency. 85) Minimum Shift Keying A modulation technique using sinusoidal shaped input data pulses to drive the phase modulator. This results in a linear phase change over conventional QPSK, resulting in lower side lobes and less adjacent channel interference performance. 86) Quadrature Amplitude Modulation A type of modulation where the signaling information is carried in the phase and amplitude of the modulated carrier wave. 87) Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) A technique for encoding the samples of an analog waveform as part of the PCM process. Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) The most predominant type of digital modulation in use today. PCM performs an analog to digital conversion of the speech waveform through a sampling process and encodes and transmits the samples in a serial bit stream as 8-bit digital words. 88) Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM) A modulation technique that transmits blocks of symbols in parallel by employing a large number of orthogonal subcarriers. The data is divided into blocks and sent in parallel on separate sub-carriers. By doing this, the symbol period can be increased and the effects of delay spread are reduced.
  • 14. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi Frequency Division Multiplex (FDM) The process of placing two or more independent channels next to each other in the frequency domain (stacking the channels ) and then modulating a single high frequency carrier with the combined signal is called FDM Time Division Multiplex (TDM) Transmissions from the same multiple sources occur on the same facility but not at the same time. Transmissions from various sources are interleaved in the time domain. 89) In GPRS, the modulation scheme is GMSK; in EDGE, it is 8-PSK Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK) A modulation technique involving Gaussian filtering of the input data prior to its application to the phase modulator. This results in a narrow occupied spectrum and better adjacent channel interference performance. 8-Phase Shift Keying (8-PSK) Similar to QPSK, 8PSK uses phase locations to determine the pattern. The 8PSK is a higher order modulation scheme, meaning it can transmit more information per shift or symbol. Whereas QPSK transmits 2 bits per symbol, 8PSK transmits 3 bits per symbol. Naturally, this does require a more complex system, as the phase states are closer together. 90) Co-channel Interference (C/I) Unwanted interference within a radio channel from another transmitter using the same channel at a different location. Co-channel interference is very common in a frequency reuse system and must be carefully controlled to prevent problems. 91) Adjacent Channel Interference (C/A) Out of band power generated in adjacent channels by transmitters operating in their assigned channel. The amount of adjacent channel interference a receiver sees is a function of transmitter and receiver filter characteristics and the number of transmitters operating in the area. 92) RxQUAL is a value b/w 0 -7 where each value corresponds to an estimated number of bit errors in a number of bursts. Each RXQUAL value corresponds to the estimated bit error rate according to the following table RXQUAL Bit Error Rate (BER) 0 BER < 0.2% 1 0.2% < BER < 0.4% 2 0.4% < BER < 0.8% 3 0.8% < BER < 1.6% 4 1.6% < BER < 3.2% 5 3.2% < BER < 6.4% 6 6.4% < BER < 12.8% 7 12.8% < BER
  • 15. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 93) In GSM there are two types of values presented for BER, namely BER FULL and BER SUB. The FULL values are based upon all frames on the SACCH multiframe, whether they have been transmitted from the base station or not. The SUB values are based on the mandatory frames on the SACCH multifame. These frames must always be transmitted. 94) SQI 95) Base Station Identity Code (BSIC) A unique code contained in messages on the broadcast channels of a cell or base station that uniquely identifies the base station. 96) Advanced Multi Rate (AMR) Codec During 1999, ETSI standardized this new speech codec for GSM. The codec adapts its bit-rate allocation between speech and channel coding, thereby optimizing speech quality in various radio channel conditions. For this reason, 3GPP (under which the next stage GSM speech quality will be realized) has selected the AMR codec as an essential speech codec for the next generation system. 97) Reasons for Call Drop: Bad Quality UL or DL or Both. Low Signal Strength UL or DL or Both. Timing Advancement limit reached. If the SACCH frame is not received, then it is considered to be dropped call. There is some relation between the number of dropped calls and voice quality. If the voice quality were not a limiting factor, perhaps the dropped call rate would be very low in the network. Calls can drop in the network due to quality degradation, which may be due to many factors such as capacity limitations, interference unfavourable propagation conditions, blocking, etc. Scenario Based Call Drops: First scenario in which you can have drops due to congestion is if queuing is enabled, and the queue length is not cleared till a particular threshold.
  • 16. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi Second case in which pre-emption is enabled and call priority settings are done. So in that case the call with high priority will be given the preference, either by shifting the present call to other cell (if resources are available) else present call will be dropped because of low priority. Third scenario is when you have an overload situation, and to overcome it, calls with low priority are dropped (after rejecting the new call and paging requests) 98) Counters 99) Drive testing is required when : The quality of the network is ultimately determined by the satisfaction of the users of the network, the subscribers. Drive tests give the ‘feel’ of the designed network as it is experienced in the field. All the parameters for example received power levels from own cell and neighbor cells, FER, BER, MS power control, etc. are low and weak. Less penetration level of signals in different regions of the network. These results can then be compared with the plans made before the network launch. Once the network goes ‘live’, the drive test and NMS statistics help in further fine-tuning of the parameters, and it is at this point that a set of default parameters is created for the whole network. 100) Cell Reselection After a cell has been successfully selected by the MS, it will start making measurements on its neighboring cells BCCH carriers. If a cell with stronger signal level is found, it will be decided if a cell reselection should be executed. 101) C1 & C2 Criteria For an MS in GPRS mode currently on a cell with no PBCCH (only on demand Packet Data Channels) C1 and C2 criteria are used just like for all circuit switched MSs in Idle Mode. in idle mode, the MS continuously calculates the cell selection quantity, C1. (The name of this quantity in the GSM Technical Specifications is “path loss criterion parameter”. As the C1-criterion is based only on signal strength and not on path loss, the term used in this document is “cell selection quantity”.) The cell selection criterion is satisfied if C1 > 0.
  • 17. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 102) Call Re-establishment This procedure occurs when the call is dropped after it was established initially so that it can re-establish again. 103) short calls long calls during dt 104) Call Setup Success Rate (CSSR) This is the global setup success rate of a call, all the way from the SDCCH to assignment complete message. The proportion of call setup attempts resulting in successful TCH assignment the basic idea is to count all the drops before successful TCH assignment. Call Establishment Failure Rate (CEFR) CEFR = 1 – CSSR 105) Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) An indication of the average signal strength at the input of a receiver produced by measurement circuitry in the receiver. Such a measurement does not normally include antenna gain or transmission system losses. 106) RXLEV & RXQUAL Intercell handover from the serving cell to a neighbor cell occurs when RXLEV and/or RXQUAL is low on the serving cell and better on the neighbor cell. Intracell handover from one channel/time slot to another channel/time slot in the same cell occurs when RXLEV is high but RXQUAL is low. 107) Bit Error Rate (BER) A ratio of the number of errors to data bits received on a digital circuit. BER is usually expressed in exponential form. Frame Erasure/Error Rate (FER) A measure of the number of frames of data that contained errors and could not be processed. FER is usually expressed as a percentage or exponent. 108) Cell selection When the MS is powered on, it scans all RF frequencies in the GSM band. The aim is to find the strongest available and valid BCCH carrier.
  • 18. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 109) Mobile Originated Call 110) Handovers Procedure Handovers can be initiated by either the BSC or the MSC (as a means of traffic load balancing). During its idle timeslots, the mobile scans the broadcast control channel of up to 16 neighboring cells, and forms a list of the six best candidates for possible handover, based on the received signal strength. This information is passed to the BSC and MSC, at least once per
  • 19. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi second, and is used by the handover algorithm. The decision on when to initiate a handover is a function of the following parameters: receive quality, receive level. Successful handovers in GSM can take place at propagation speeds of up to 250 km/h. 111) RegistrationThis is the process in which an MS informs a network that it is attached. 112) General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) A packet-linked technology that enables high-speed (115 kilobit per second) wireless Internet and other data communications over a GSM network. It is considered an efficient use of limited bandwidth and is particularly suited for sending and receiving small bursts of data. 113) In the GPRS public land mobile network (PLMN), two of the support nodes that form the GPRS backbone are the Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) and the Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN). The former is the gateway to data services from within the mobile network; the latter is the gateway from the PLMN to the outside IP world. These nodes are absent in the GSM architecture. 114) Difference between GSM & GPRS Architecture A GPRS mobile unit works remarkably similar to a GSM mobile. If the mobile needs to be contacted or needs to establish a connection, the paging process also works in a very similar manner as the GSM voice calls. In the backhaul, however, things are a bit different. The BSC will route the data call through a GPRS support node. In the GPRS public land mobile network (PLMN), two of the support nodes that form the GPRS backbone are the serving GPRS support node (SGSN) and the gateway GPRS support node (GGSN). The former is the gateway to data services from within the mobile network; the latter is the gateway from the PLMN to the outside IP world. 115) Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) A gateway from a cellular network to an IP network. Serving GPRS support node (SGSN) is the gateway to data services from within the mobile network. Once data service is assigned to a mobile, it is the job of the SGSN to track the location of that mobile within the network and ensures that the mobile is authenticated and is receiving the correct level of quality of service. It is the job of the GGSN to interface with the outside data world. This is all done independent of the RF interface, as it is on the backhaul side of the BSC.
  • 20. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 116) GPRS has four coding schemes that can be used, depending on the situation. These schemes are designated as CS-1 to CS-4. GPRS uses a variable coding system, so that more robust coding is used for situations where the RF will be weak and less where it is optimal - this allows for optimal data throughput. 117) The maximum data rate for a GPRS frame, assuming all slots are being used for data, is 8 * 21.4Kbps = 171.2 Kbps. But you can see that is would only be in the most ideal locations and situations, as there is no error correction at all. There are nine coding rates and modulation settings in EDGE, which allow for data transmission rates from 8.8 Kbps up to 59.2 Kbps per slot. 118) Enhanced Data for Global Evolution (EDGE) A technology that gives GSMA and TDMA similar capacity to handle services for the third generation of mobile telephony. EDGE was developed to enable the transmission of large amounts of data at a high speed, 384 kilobits per second. (It increases available time slots and data rates over existing wireless networks.) 119) GPRS terminals are classified depending on their capabilities. Currently three types of classifications are used: Class A mobile stations can make and receive calls on GSM and GPRS at the same time. Class B mobile stations can make and receive calls on GSM and GPRS, but not at the same time. Class C mobile stations need to be manually selected as far as whether they will operate in GPRS or GSM modes. This selection is done at the time of subscription of service by the user; thus, when a customer purchases a class C mobile, he or she must select either GPRS or GSM mode. 120) Base Station Subsystem (BSS) That portion of a GSM network that includes the base station, base station controller and transcoders (if used).
  • 21. Compiled by Abdul Basit Qureshi 121) The Network Subsystem (NSS) consists of : mobile switching center (MSC) The home location register (HLR) The visitor location register (VLR) The authentication center (AuC) The equipment identity register (EIR) 122) Home Location Register (HLR) The functional unit responsible for managing mobile subscribers. Two types of information reside in the HLR: subscriber information and part of the mobile information that allow incoming calls to be routed to the mobile subscriber. The HLR stores the IMSI, MS ISDN number, VLR address, and subscriber data on supplementary services. Visitor Location Register (VLR) The functional unit responsible for managing mobile subscribers currently attached to the network. Two types of information reside in the VLR: subscriber information and the part of the mobile information that allows incoming calls to be routed to the mobile subscriber. The VLR stores the MSRN, TMSI, the location area, data on supplementary services, IMSI, MS ISDN number, HLR address or GT, and local MS identity, if used. 123) The Equipment Identity Register (EIR): The EIR is a database that contains a list of all valid mobile station equipment within the network, where each mobile station is identified by its international mobile equipment identity (IMEI). The EIR has three databases: White list: for all known, good IMEIs Black list: for bad or stolen handsets Grey list: for handsets/IMEIs that are uncertain. The Authentication Center (AuC): A protected database that holds a copy of the secret key stored in each subscriber's SIM card, which is used for authentication and encryption over the radio channel. The AuC provides additional security against fraud. It is normally located close to each HLR within a GSM network. 124) Radio Base Station (RBS) A term used to represent Ericsson BTS. 125) E1 carrier It is a PCM carrier having a data rate of 2.048 Mbps. This carrier has 32 8-bit samples packed into the basic 125 usec frame. T1 carrier The T1 carrier consists of 24 voice channels multiplexed at a rate of 1.544 Mbps.